the complete guide to writing a federal resume and using USAJOBS - fedweek

The Complete Guide to Writing a Federal Resume


Everyone says applying for a federal job should be easy, but almost no one says it is easy. This book will take you through it step by step, centering on the government’s unique resume and cover letter requirements.

…Including Many Sample Resumes all in USAJOBS format.

What's inside

Applying for a federal job can be confusing. There are job announcements to read, specialized experience requirements to meet and occupational questionnaires to answer. In addition all applicants must effectively use to apply. This straight forward guide is designed to help you understand the process for federal positions and prepare the strongest possible resume and application to maximize your opportunities for landing that job and avoid the most common mistakes.

It’s arranged in easily-digestible pieces so you can read it from cover to cover or just search for the sections most pertinent to you. It includes many exercises and worksheets to help you hone your skills, help with application process online, sample cover letters and resumes and much more.


This book was co-written by John Grobe and Nancy Segal. Both John and Nancy are presenters and trainers for our retirement planning and federal career online webinars and have teamed up on this project to give you the best of their vast knowledge and experiences. Nancy has more than 30 years of human resources experience with the federal government. She uses her experience to coach applicants on their federal job searches, teaches them how to analyze and interpret Federal vacancy announcements. Nancy is the owner and founder of Solutions for the Workplace, LLC.

John is a retired federal employee and an expert in the areas of career development and transition, in addition to federal retirement. John’s firm, Federal Career Experts, provides pre-retirement training for federal agencies.

Here’s a partial look at the table of contents of this all-new book:

  • Differences Between Federal and Private Sector Resumes and Applications
  • Creating a USAJOBS Account and Understanding the Application Process
  • Finding Vacancies and Reading Job Announcements
  • What You Need to Cover in Your Application or Resume
  • Keywords or Phrases You Need to Use
  • Formatting and Writing Your Resume and Applications
  • What You Should Do About Work Experience Early in Your Career
  • What about Gaps in Employment?
  • Knowledges, Skills and Abilities (KSAs)
  • Cover Letters and Thank You Letters
  • The DOs and DONT’S for Resume and Cover Letters
  • List of Hiring Federal Government Departments, Agencies, Bureaus, Commissions and Committes
  • Action Verbs for Your Resume and Terminology

Federal Employee positions are one of the few markets that are still hiring all over the country. You may be thinking about changing your current position due to cutbacks in budgets, wishing to advance your career or contemplating moving altogether. If you are thinking about making change (or are forced to change) you must make sure you know how to properly prepare your federal resume…even if you are already a federal employee and are applying for a transfer or new positions.

  • There are many common mistakes that are made when developing and writing your resume and you must avoid and these are just a few…
  • Listing Responsibilities Rather than Skills and Results
  • Not Being Specific Enough as to What You Have Accomplished
  • Not Including Key Words and Ignoring Soft Skills
  • Omitting Required Information and Using an Objective Rather than a Career Summary
  • Including Outdated Information and Being Too Modest

This Book is a must-have for:

1. All federal employees
2. Military personnel interested in civil service careers
3. Federal managers and supervisors
4. Human resources professionals and federal libraries
5. Military retirees beginning their second career with the federal government
6. All private sector workers that wish to apply for federal government positions.

Note to Military Members: Many of the federal job openings at this time require security clearances. As a military member, a large percentage of you have the security clearance and the qualifications needed to fill these positions. This all-new guide will show you how to compose your resume to accentuate your strengths and experiences!